The nation’s economy continues to expand at a less-than-blistering pace, according to the latest regional round-up prepared by the Federal Reserve. At the same time, the Fed’s latest Beige Book survey of economic activity notes that the job market has tightened in many areas of the country.
The Fed says what it calls “highly skilled workers” or “technology specialists” are among those commanding stronger wages, but most of the central bank’s districts report wage pressures have been fairly modest. That’s consistent with other data indicating that a steadily improving job market has yet to lift take-home pay for many workers, particularly those in the middle class.
While the Fed has been saying for some time that the job market is nearing so-called full employment, it continues to look for inflation to edge closer to its 2% target. The Beige Book survey says wage pressures have been generally “moderate” and price increases have been “slight” overall.
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What else is in the Beige Book?
A few other points noted by the Fed’s districts:
Yellen raises ante for rate move
The report is prepared for the next meeting of Fed policymakers, slated for Sept. 20-21. Most observers expect that interest rates will be left unchanged at that meeting. However, a number of Fed officials have said the chances of a rate hike have grown.
Speaking late last month in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen said “the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in recent months.”
But when the Fed might be prepared to raise rates for …